Is you is or is you ain’t our future PM, Angie?

That Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner denies the very possibility of social mobility is par for the course. As a raving socialist, she has to believe in an ossified class structure.

Northern lass, gobbing off

Anyone born working class remains working class for life – that’s an article of faith for her ilk. Never mind that we could all cite numerous examples of people moving up or down the social scale. When ideology barges in, reality flees.

What’s rather odd in a socialist fanatic is her utter contempt for comprehensive education, which is an icon for every left-thinking person. Comprehensive education, she believes, means comprehensive illiteracy. It don’t teach nothing to nobody.

To be fair to the self-described “fiery, ballsy, gobby Northern lass”, she didn’t express either belief in so many words. Both, however, can be inferred easily and ineluctably from what she did say.

Angie seems to regard illiteracy as a virtue, a badge of class honour. And she practises what she preaches.

The other day she launched another one of her vituperative (if not exactly unfounded) attacks on Boris Johnson. “Was you there or not at the party?”, she kept repeating. In fact, her insistence on that usage throughout shows that it wasn’t an unfortunate slip of the tongue. She really doesn’t have a clue about the conjugation of the verb ‘to be’.

Amazingly her consistent solecisms drew a lot of criticism. Since I can’t imagine any tweedy member of White’s watching Angie’s BBC interview, the Twitted criticism must have come from her natural constituency.

That in no way mitigated her indignant response in the same medium: “I wasn’t Eton-educated, but growing up in Stockport I was taught integrity, honesty and decency. Doesn’t mater [sic] how you say it. Boris Johnson is unfit to lead.”

Now, integrity, honesty and decency aren’t recognised academic subjects. English is, and logic used to be. So it does ‘mater’ how you say it and spell it. Angie’s response is an illiterate non sequitur, even though I may agree with her conclusion.

As a gesture of geographical loyalty, Angie established her credentials by becoming a grandmother still in her 30s. She could use that fact to ward off any accusation of ‘poshness’ if she spoke grammatically. There’s no need also to sound like a Dickensian urchin.

Going back to my original two inferences, they seem to be unassailable.

First, Angie clearly believes that “growing up in Stockport” (that is, being working class) precludes any possibility of future advancement, social, cultural or educational. Second, she is effectively saying that no school below the level of Eton, and certainly no comprehensive school, can teach its pupils to say ‘you were’, rather than ‘you was’.

Now, I despise the very idea of comprehensive schools hatched by Angie’s ideological brethren. Yet even I have never launched such a scathing attack on this egalitarian nonsense. It’s true that most youngsters thus educated emerge as functional illiterates. But that doesn’t mean such an outcome is predetermined, inevitable or universal.

In fact, I know several Northern lasses who speak with faultless grammar, if with a slight regional accent. In fact, the husband of one of such lasses comes from a similar background, which doesn’t prevent him from speaking and writing some of the best English in these Isles.

I myself went to a school where most boys carried knives or knuckledusters and hardly ever had a square meal that would be recognised as such even in Stockport. Yet I knew how ‘to be’ conjugated when I was about 10. And oh, did I forget to mention that my school was quite a bit north of Stockport, in Moscow, where English was taught as a second language?

Here’s a harrowing thought: if a general election were held today, and if the current Labour lead in the polls were reflected in the number of seats, Angie would have a senior ministerial post. This obscenely illiterate class warrior would be in a position to decide how a great nation is to be governed.

Call me a reactionary, but when my wife Penelope was a little girl someone like Angie wouldn’t even have got a secretarial job in the City. This makes me question my previous sentence.

Just how great is a nation where such a nincompoop, long on ideology, short on brains, is allowed to get anywhere near Westminster as anything other than a tourist? Or, to rephrase perhaps more accurately, how long will such a nation remain great even assuming it still is?

Please don’t answer that. I don’t want to get any more upset than I already am.

9 thoughts on “Is you is or is you ain’t our future PM, Angie?”

  1. 1. I don’t understand Isaac Thompson’s contribution, and 2. I weep with you over illiteracy and the fact that it may be seen as a valuable asset in today’s Labour party. If it is any comfort I attended a school in Bethnal Green, a very working-class region of London, where literacy and the use of grammatical English were accepted and, indeed, welcomed alongside popular support for socialist representatives. Indeed, Attlee was a nearby MP.

    1. The Woke ideologues don’t actually want the Labour party to form the next government. Because the Conservatives are much more obedient spivs.

  2. My particular bugbear in this context is the widespread non-use of the imperfect. How many times have you heard, for example, “I was sat” instead of “I was sitting” to indicate continuous action in the past, and this from supposedly educated journalists, commentators, celebrities etc…

    1. ‘I was sat’ is dialectal and as we don’t have an Academie Anglais, is recognised as standard English.
      It is even taught to foreign students as an example of what they will hear – although most will follow the logic of the past continuous structure (was/ were + ‘ing’) and use ‘I was sitting’.

      1. It is standard English but means something different from ‘I was sitting’. An example might be: ‘At the formal dinner at Buckingham Palace, I saw to my dismay that I was sat next to Prince Andrew.’ Actually, that should probably be, ‘had been sat’, but you get my drift.

  3. There’s an awful lot of fawning in the press over this woman. Some of it in the sort of patronising way of London journalists when confronted by an ‘authentic’, stout yeoman, horny handed son of the salt of the earth type, but others clearly see her as some sort of political ‘force’.
    I don’t know what has happened to journalism these past couple of decades but I think there is a definite gap in the market for reality and truth. An article examining how a mouth breathing slapper gets to be a member of parliament is long overdue.

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